BEIJING, China: In a bid to diversify its businesses, China's Huawei Technologies, the world's largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer, has announced plans to develop self-driving vehicle technology by 2025.
"Our team's goal is to reach true driverless passenger cars in 2025," said Wang Jun, an executive at Huawei, as quoted by Reuters.
Industry insiders believe Huawei is looking at other business models after its global smartphone business was hit by U.S. sanctions in 2019.
At that time, the Trump administration ended Huawei's use of U.S. processor chips and other technology needed for manufacturing smartphones.
In 2020, the United States continued to tighten its restrictions, labeling Huawei a threat to American national security.
"We can still survive even without relying on phone sales," said Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, as quoted by the Associated Press.
Strong sales of networking equipment and other technologies could help offset a weaker handset business, he added.